2 Kings 6:1-7:20, Acts 15:36-16:15, Psalms 142:1-7, Proverbs 17:24-25
Today is the 24th day of June, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian, it’s great to be here with you guys today, around the Global Campfire as we gather and move forward together, which takes us back to the spot that we left off and that is second Kings, at this point. And we are kinda traveling alongside the prophet Elisha, getting to know him as well, as well as all of the kings that reigned during his time, his lifetime, his ministry and so, let’s pick up the story second Kings chapters 6 and 7 today.
Okay, let’s go in reverse order today and start with the book of Acts and work our way back to what we’re reading in second Kings. I just want to point out what the Bible tells us in the book of Acts, and that is that, Paul and Barnabas got into a pretty significant argument. A pretty significant disagreement, to the point that they needed to part company, after they had traveled all over the Roman Empire, preaching the good news, they needed to part company and continue that work in the name of Jesus separately. And the disagreement, is over a person Mark, John Mark. Though very, very likely the author of the Gospel of Mark, the very first gospel ever written. So, Mark was on that first missionary journey but in the city of Pamphylia he left them and returned to his home and that struck Paul, really wrong. As if he wasn’t fully and completely devoted and so he didn’t want Mark on this second missionary journey. And so, they had a disagreement and that disagreement left them still passionate for the Gospel and still called to speak the Gospel and in fact, to travel throughout the known world and speak the Gospel but not together. And so, we are embarking on Paul’s second missionary journey and it’s a whole new cast. Paul is the same person but he won’t be traveling with Barnabas this time or Mark, he’ll be traveling with Silas. And we will continue to follow along with that missionary journey, as we continue with the book of Acts.
But now, back in the book of second Kings. So much happens in our reading today an ax head floats back to the top of the water, miraculously. The Aramaeans, who are wanting to kind of ambush and fight against Israel, they can’t really make their plans, because Elisha hears from the Lord what the plans are and the Israelites are prepared. So, the Aramaeans find out where Elisha is, surround the city and when Elisha’s assistant wakes up and sees the Army, he freaks out and of course Elisha asks for his eyes to be open and then he can see that there are more with them, than any number of Army that is against them. They are struck with blindness. So, the key, like they can’t understand exactly what’s going on. And so, Elisha, the person that they’re trying to capture comes out and says this is the wrong place and they believe him and he’s like, I’ll show you the right place and they believe him and he marches them right into the capital of Israel, which is the city of Samaria, the northern kingdom. And some, this Army gets inside the city walls and then their eyes are opened, right, and this should be like a mighty victory, this Army could be destroyed, they have nowhere to go, but instead what Elisha instructs is that they should have food and water and be sent back to their master. That actually ends the ambushes and the fighting by the bands of Aramaeans who come to raid the land. So, in other words, God shows up and deals with the problem in a way that only God can. The Aramaeans are shown mercy, at the same time that they’re shown the very power of the God of Israel, the most high God. And so, respect for the most high God and respect for the mercy that was shown ends the conflict. And then, we have the story of the Aramaeans coming back at a later time to besiege and take the city, the capital city of Samaria. And so, they’ve surrounded and blockaded the city and people are beginning to starve, like all the resources that were inside the city are depleted and no one can leave and go get more and so whatever’s in the city is what’s in the city. That’s what they would do, starve them out, weaken them, demoralize them, wait until they were weak and until they could break in and put…put up little resistance. And so, that’s what’s going on here. The King of Israel becomes so demoralized and frustrated that he decides, he’s not waiting on the Lord anymore, because the Lord isn’t showing up and he’s going to behead Elisha, the prophet of God. Elisha has advanced warning about this and he tells the king about this time tomorrow, essentially, about this time tomorrow, the problem will be over. Of course, that’s hard to believe, but that’s what happens and it’s really interesting, the lesson for us to learn and how this happened. There are four lepers outside the city, they can come into the city, but if they come into the city, they’re going to die like everybody else in the city. They’re lepers and so they’re not being picked on so much outside the city walls and they can kind of scrounge around but they’re still going to die eventually. And so, they decide really, they have three options in they’re all bad options and there’s only one option that has even the remotest chance that they could live and that is to surrender to the enemy. If the Aramaeans kill them, they were going to die anyway but if they live, maybe they can find a morsel of food and live. And so, that’s what they do, they go to the Aramaean camp to surrender and seek mercy and nobody’s there. And that’s fascinating because the Lord had given the sound of a mighty army coming and so they fled. It’s like a ghost village out there, this blockade that has been starving the city to death and putting people through unbelievable atrocity. It’s like a ghost town out there, there’s nobody there. And so, these men, they go into camp or into a tent and they eat and they plunder. And they go into another one and they get some more stuff and they hide the stuff. And it’s like, they have everything they could ever need. And then they realize, people are still starving just like they were starving, back in the city of Samaria people are dying and they look at each other and say some really fascinating things. What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. The implications start to become apparent, because what’s going on here? These lepers have discovered that they have been rescued, that everybody can live. God has rescued them. And so, they’re enjoying the bounty, the benefit of being rescued and not having the fear that they had just moments before, but nobody else knows that. And they realize, it’s not right what we’re doing out here. This is a day of good news and we’re keeping it to ourselves. When we look at this through a spiritual lens, we have to realize that we were all surrounded and starving. And were going to be defeated and weakened and demoralized, our enemy was trying to stamp us out. And then we found out we were rescued and that the enemy has been banished and has no authority over us in any sort of way at all, anymore. We have been rescued forever and we can easily bask in that, when there are, there are people who are still starving and dying and are surrounded and don’t know that rescue is here. And so, we find ourselves, kind of with the same sentiment, what we’re doing isn’t right. This is a day of good news and we’re keeping it to ourselves. Something for us to think about, pretty strongly today. Maybe, even today, is the day to not keep it to ourselves.
And so, Holy Spirit, we invite You into that, we know that we have all been guilty of enjoying the blessing that You have poured down upon us, in the rescue of our very souls. And we can very, very easily, kinda think that we need to hoard that, that we have the out crowd and the in crowd, when what our role is, is to eliminate that, so that all can know, so that all might be rescued, so that we might be doing Your work in this world, telling the good news, that rescue is here and you don’t have to stay stranded behind these walls anymore. You can come out, freedom is here. Holy Spirit let this sink into us, so that we can understand that every thought, word and deed, everything about us is about You. Come, Jesus we pray, in your mighty name we ask. Amen.
dailyaudiobible.com, that’s home base and that’s where you can find out what’s going on around here. We’ve been talking about it. It’s coming up in less than two weeks now, two weeks from yesterday. The Daily Audio Bible Long Walk that occurs every seventh day of July, it’s our own little, private holiday. And it’s so simple. It’s a day that we carve out some time, set it aside, go out into the beauty of God’s creation, drink it in, and go for a long walk with God. Not only to awaken our senses to all the life that is happening around us and all that God has just showered us with that we mostly ignore, but also to regroup and reset, to actually have some time to speak out before the Lord everything that’s in our hearts, like the empty out everything that’s going on and have time to not leave anything back, like just to empty it out of us and to give space and time for God to respond and fill us again, anew, as we contemplate what the second half of the year is supposed to be aimed at. And it’s beautiful because we’re doing this for our own lives and our own relationship with God, but we’re not doing it alone, even though we’re doing it alone. We’re doing it alone with God but our brothers and sisters all over the world, around this Global Campfire are also enjoying the beauty of where they are, on this earth. And what makes it a community experience is that, we put a post on our Daily Audio Bible Facebook page, for the Long Walk and then invite everybody like, look while you’re out there, while you’re enjoying it, snap a picture, take a video, something to commemorate the day that you spent. And they’re so many of us who have pictures and videos like from…from years and years and years of doing this. Maybe this is your first year. This is where you start that collection of mementos, of remembrances, of the times that you set aside and go for a long walk with God and what that did to your life and to the rest of your year and we come back and share and post a picture, post a video, into that post and all of a sudden, we open windows into the world. Like beauty all over the earth, all over the earth, and then we get to share together, in each other’s stories. It’s a beautiful thing. I love it very much. It’s a treasure around here. And so, make plans for that on the seventh day of July, the Daily Audio Bible Long Walk. I’m looking forward to that.
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And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here, tomorrow.